IFCO is the international organisation for the development of foster care worldwide. It is a network organisation that organises international conferences every other year, bringing together foster care stakeholders, both foster carers, young people and social workers together.
How we respond to children without, or at risk of losing, parental care affects millions of children globally, for a wide variety of reasons. Getting it wrong can result in long-term – even permanent – damage for a child when alternative care is provided unnecessarily or in an unsuitable setting. Getting it right prevents unwarranted family separation and ensures that a child requiring alternative care is looked after in ways that protect his/her human rights and meet his/her individual needs. This is particularly relevant for understanding whether adoption is in a child’s best interests, depending on factors such as how the family of origin has been supported as well as the principle of subsidiarity which necessitates an understanding of options available for the child in his or her country of origin. Join a worldwide group of committed experts, practitioners, academics, researchers, government representatives and young people with experience of alternative care to make sure we get it right for these children. The Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, welcomed by the UN General Assembly in 2009, have already inspired and underpinned a growing number of initiatives on all continents to secure improved policy and practice in the sphere of alternative care. Now is the time to build on that momentum. We look forward to welcoming you in Geneva to participate in the International Alternative Care Conference, 3-5 October 2016.